Media releases

November 17, 2017


Sexual assault, domestic and family violence sector leaders met yesterday to establish the first 1800RESPECT National Sector Advisory Group (NSAG).

NSAG will provide advice and strategic direction to ensure 1800RESPECT continues to be the best possible sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service as well as plan how it will meet future demand using the knowledge and skills of leaders in the field.

NSAG will bring together domestic and family violence and sexual assault experts with knowledge and experience in disability and family law areas as well as on issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, same sex relationships, and Australians in rural and remote areas.

Advisory group members include:

  • Mirjana Wilson, SafeNet Australia and Domestic Violence Crisis Services
  • Jo Sheehan Patterson, National Association of Services Against Sexual Assault and Mallee Centre Against Sexual Assault – CASA Forum
  • Kai Noonan, ACON
  • Sandra Creamer, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Womens Alliance
  • Carolyn Frohmader, Women With Disabilities Australia
  • Maha Abdo OA, Muslim Womens Association
  • Karen Bentley, WESNET
  • Chrystina Stanford, National Association of Services Against Sexual Assault and Canberra Rape Crisis Centre
  • Anastasia Powell, RMIT University
  • Dr Cathy Humphreys, University of Melbourne
  • Libby Lloyd, independent sector advisor
  • Associate Professor Jan Breckenridge, University of NSW
  • Marie-Claire Cheron-Sauer, Clinical Advisor and Director of Summit Vision 
  • 1800RESPECT trauma specialist counselling panel providers (DVConnect, safe steps Family Violence Response Centre and Women’s Safety Services)

1800RESPECT General Manager Nicole McMahon said 1800RESPECT already widely consults with sector experts, and the formal establishment of the advisory group is the next step in ensuring Australians that need assistance receive assistance when they need it.

“Domestic violence is of national concern and that’s why we’re looking forward to working with each and every member. They are well-recognised voices on sexual assault, domestic and family violence and their knowledge and expertise will be invaluable in addressing such an important National priority,” Ms McMahon said.

“We’re working hard to ensure those Australians who are impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence have greater access to 1800RESPECT services,” she said.

1800RESPECT is a national program that includes telephony and online counselling, as well as various digital platforms, including the 1800RESPECT website, the Daisy App for localised information and support services, and the frontline workers’ toolkit- a suite of capacity building tools for workers and professionals including information on how to recognise and respond to violence.

More than 70,000 contacts (calls and online) were made to 1800RESPECT between 16 August 2016, when the First Response model was implemented, and 30 June 2017.

A call is made to 1800RESPECT, on average, every six and a half minutes, each and every single day and night.

For media enquiries:

Sacha Fenton
M: 0467 784 528

About 1800RESPECT

1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It is delivered by Medibank Health Solutions on behalf of the Federal Government Department of Social Services. It is part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit  In an emergency, call 000. 

Back to top